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About Valence

Valence lies on the left bank of the Rhone river in the Drome area of South East France. It is commonly known as the ‘Gateway to the South of France’ - being a compulsory point of passage between Paris and the Mediterranean. This is a transport crossroads and easy to reach by road, rail (two hours from Paris) or aeroplane. The best places to stay in Valence are ideally located for exploring this lovely city.

The city’s history dates back to Roman times and there is much for the sightseer in terms of buildings and monuments. Probably the most significant sight is the Cathedral St. Apollinaire a beautiful eleventh century building in Romanesque style. Nearby in ‘vieux Valence’ there is the Maison des Tetes (so named due to all the heads sculpted on the facade) and the Maison Mauresque (a building celebrating the French love of Moorish architecture). The Musee d’Art et d’Archaeologie houses a fascinating collection of art from the sixteenth century onwards. There is also the bijou Italian theatre and an Armenian centre - celebrating the large contingent in the city.

There are many wide open spaces. In the centre, Jouvet park is one of the prettiest in the region and has lovely views towards the ruined Chateau de Crussol. The Champ de Mars has boulevards to stroll and the famous bandstand of Raymond Peynet. You can also stroll along the many canals or take advantage of Valence’s self service ‘rent-a-bike’ scheme.

For gastronomes, Valence is justifiably proud of Anne-Sophie Pic, restauranteur and holder of three Michelin stars. Not to mention the two other Michelin starred establishments here!

What not to miss:

  • Visit the Musée de Valence playing host to fascinating exhibitions on Valence's history.
  • Take a stroll through the scenic Parc Jouvet.
  • Stop by the impressive Valence Cathedral, the oldest monument in the city.
  • Rent a city bike and explore the city on two wheels.

Although the city is often used as a stopping off point on the the way to or from the South of France, choose one of our picks of the best places to stay in Valence and you've got a great reason to linger for longer!

For central style

  • Maison de la Pra - Located in the centre of Valence this converted sixteenth century mansion is elegant and stylish. With only four guestrooms the atmosphere is chic and sophisticated. It is within walking distance to the sights, shops and nightlife.

For gourmet heaven

  • Maison Pic -This modern designer hotel is most notable for its famous patron Anne-Sophie Pic, the award winning French chef. Come here for sublime dinners and hone your skills with the cookery classes and wine tastings which can be arranged on site.
  • Hotel Michel Chabran offers spacious rooms decorated in a simplistic Provençal style. The quiet, cosy ambiance and evening meals on the verandah, eating Michelin starred dishes, make this perfect for a romantic retreat.

For contemporary style

  • Hotel de France is a stylish property in the centre of Valence. The smart contemporary rooms are individually designed in a minimalist style.

    For an apartment

    • If you're travelling with family or a group of friends it may be a better option to book a villa or apartment. For a wide range of properties for all tastes and budgets we recommend you visit our online partner Booking.com.

    Travel information

    • The nearest major airport is Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport located 117km from Valence or fly to the domestic only Le Puy - Loudes Airport, 126km from the city.
    • Valence is a year-round destination with each season offering its own charm however for bright warm days plan your trip between the months of June - August when temperatures range between 22°C - 24°C.
    • If you plan to hire a car, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.

    Still not sure?

    Best Hotels in Valence

    • Maison Pic 16 rooms from £167


      Luxurious, contemporary hotel which is renowned for it's three Michelin Starred restaurant - headed by Chef Anne-Sophie Pic. Bedrooms are cool and sleek with designer pieces from Bruno Borrione. Enjoy the beautiful garden and outdoor swimming pool. A foodies delight.

      Cooking classes  -  Available at the hotel
      Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
      Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
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    • Maison de la Pra 4 rooms from £136


      Stunning conversion of a 16th century mansion located in the historic centre of Valence. The rooms are spacious and airy, with smart modern, tiled bathrooms, whilst maintaining a rustic charm with exposed stonework and wooden beams. A chic base from which to exlore the area.

      Great walks  -  The rivers Drome and Ardeche meet just a short walk from the hotel
      Local markets  -  Visit the markets in the towns and villages of the area
      Sights nearby  -  550 yards away from Valence Cathedral
      Views  -  Great views from hotel
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    • Hotel de France 47 rooms from £87


      A stylish property in the centre of Valence. The smart contemporary rooms are individually designed in a minimalist style. Indulgent buffet breakfasts are served on the sun-drenched terrace. Well positioned for exploring the town's sights. A chic option.

      Local exploring  -  This cool contemporary hotel in the heart of Valence makes an ideal base for exploring the town by foot.
      Sights nearby  -  Located just 450 m from the Saint-Apollinaire Cathedral.
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    • Hotel Michel Chabran 10 rooms from £96

      Valence (Pont-de-l'Isère)

      Spacious rooms are decorated in a simplistic, Provençal style. The quiet, cosy ambiance and evening meals on the verandah, eating Michelin starred dishes make this perfect for a romantic retreat. All this plus a golf course and vineyards nearby. Great value.

      Restaurant  -  Recommended.
      Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
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